With a new partner for the 2020 season, Women’s World Tour Team ALE’ BTC LJUBLJANA is now ready to face the year ahead and take on the world’s best riders down under at the Lexus of Blackburn Women’s Herald Sun Tour.
The squad is a partnership between Team Alé Cipollini and the Slovenian shopping centres and logistic company BTC Plc.
The team boasted a string of wins and podiums across the 2019 season, showing they are a force to be reckoned with on the WorldTour circuit.
The entire squad that’s been sent here, features riders who are very experienced stage racers. Between then, this unit has racked up 37 stage races and will be bringing the legs, skills and tactics to win in Australia.
Dutch rider for the team, Maaike Boogaard had a standout 2019 grabbing a top ten finish in the gruelling Tour of Chongming Island UCI Women’s WorldTour event, and rode a string of tours across the season so she knows what to expect, even though this is her first time in Australia.
“We had a good 2019. We started the year with a few girls having problems due to crashes and injuries but if we look back we can be satisfied with the overall results we managed to get and how much we grew as a team together.”
“This year’s expectations are high but realistic with a big change from staff to riders in 2020, I think we can say we have a strong team this year and we are ready to see how far we can come as a team during this season.”
While she’s a young rider, at just 21, we’d expect her to fierce on the road, and one to keep an eye out for.
Like so many riders, it was her family who got her into the sport, “My family has quite a history of cycling, my uncle Jelle Nijdam was a professional cyclist who wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, and my Dad and Grandfather were cyclists also.”
“When I was little I was already full of energy and my parents wanted me to start practicing a sport so I would be able to use that energy for the sport and be less active (annoying) at home.”
“My parents took me to the closest cycling club we have in my town and let me try a bike and I was immediately sold and since I was seven I have been cycling.”
When asked about what the race will look like for her and the team she said, “I am really looking forward to racing two completely different stages. It is really interesting to be racing a mostly flat stage the first day and then having to climb the next day; a 30km climb sounds really exciting. Especially because that would be the longest climb I have ever done in a race!”
“Climbing to a ski resort [Falls Creek] is definitely something I am really excited about and I think if we go down [the descent first] we will already be able to see which parts of the climb will be the hardest of them all, which is always good information.”
We’re really looking forward to seeing this youngster take on the two day Tour, “I would describe myself as a really energetic person and my style of riding is definitely aggressive in a way of attacking or being in a break away. I am still developing myself and learning a lot from all the experienced riders around me but I am also always trying to help my teammates wherever I can.”
TEAM ALE’ BTC LJUBLJANA RIDER LIST
- Maaike BOOGAARD – 21-year-old rider Dutch rider, we’ll be keen to see how she goes off the back of a cold European winter in the Aussie heat. A string of stage races throughout the year, will make her well equipped to handle the Lexus of Blackburn Herald Sun To
- Urška Bravec –Hailing from Slovenia, her last result in 2019 was 32th place for the Tour of Guangxi Women’s Worldtour 2019.
- Anastasiia Chursina – Hailing from Russia, Chursina, took out 13th at the Tour of Guangxi Women’s WorldTour (1.WWT), and a top 25 finish at the italian stage race of Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli Internazionale Donne Elite. Another rider who’s done a lot of stage racing in 2019.
- Tatiana GUDERZO – A gold in the Road Race at the 2009 World Championships makes Guderzo a rider to be contended with. She raced all the big ones on the circuit in 2019, and we expect her to be a mentor on the road.
- Urska PINTAR – The 34-year-old from Slovenia, she fought hard for a fourth on GC at four stage Vuelta a Burgos Feminas.
- Jutatip MANEEPHAN – Taking the yellow jersey at the The Princess Maha Chackri Sirindhorn’s Cup “Women’s Tour of Thailand” in 2019, Maneephan is a very accomplished rider in her own rider with consistent performances across the season.
- Anna TREVISI – At the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana Feminas she finished fifth overall, her best result of 2019. With consistent top ten finishes, we’d hope to see her take a podium at our race.
- Eri YONAMINE – a five time national champion in the road race and 8 in the time trial, this Japanese rider is absolute dynamite on the bike. Coming into her second year with the team, she’s settled in well and will be a keen leader on the road.